Issue - meetings

Marketfield Way Update - December 2023

Meeting: 14/12/2023 - Executive (Item 50)

50 Marketfield Way Update - December 2023

The Executive Member for Place, Planning and Regulatory Services.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED - that Executive:

 

(i)               Note the progress that has been made to deliver Stage 4 of the project, in relation to scheme implementation, construction, residential sale and commercial lettings;

(ii)             Note the initial economic, social and environmental benefits that have been derived;

(iii)           Note the details set out in the Part 2 report;

(iv)           Authorise the Head of Place Delivery, in consultation with the Leader, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance & Governance, Executive Member for Place, Planning & Regulatory Services and Chief Finance Officer to settle the final account with the Council’s contractor VINCI Construction UK in line with the recommendations set out in Part 2 of this report;

(v)             Approve the inclusion of £4,297,682 million Capital Programme growth for completion of the development, funded from prudential borrowing, in the final budget report to Executive on 1 February 2024.

Minutes:

Executive Member for Place, Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor Michalowski, gave an update on progress to deliver the Marketfield Way project in Redhill since it was last considered by Executive in December 2019.

An Exempt Addendum to the report included some minor amendments to the Part 2 Exempt report to incorporate recent feedback from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Acting as developer, over the last four years the Council had overcome numerous challenges to bring this project forward to get to this stage. The most significant challenge was the huge uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. This resulted in the Council not being able to secure early pre lets on any of the commercial space, the loss of the initial cinema operator, and complex logistical challenges to ensure safe working on site.

While there was a fixed rate contract when changes were made, this resulted in cost increases due to high build cost inflation not only because of the pandemic but also due to the crisis in Ukraine. The development also faced complex engineering challenges including the relocation of an electricity sub-station and statutory services and the build over of a large public sewer.

These factors ultimately resulted in delay and consequential cost increases for the project. The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis also resulted in much more uncertainty for prospective tenants and brought about less rental income than originally forecast.

Despite these challenges, the main build has now been completed. The residential part has been sold by the Council to a private sector partner. Over 70% of the commercial floorspace has been let, with deals being secured on the three remaining units.

The new development, The Rise, is now well and truly open for business, welcoming thousands of people every day. It is also already home to over 100 people, who benefit from living at the heart of Redhill town centre, with its excellent transport links.

This Council’s commitment to the project and its investment has made a palpable difference to the regeneration of Redhill, in line with the Council’s Corporate objectives. In summary:

·        The Rise has become a leisure destination, alongside the Harlequin, with a forecast 400,000 visitors to The Light this year.

·        Surveys show that people love the new leisure facilities, and they are telling their friends and family.

·        Footfall in the town is substantially up, bucking national trends.

·        More people are visiting the town from a wider catchment area.

·        More people are staying longer; and

·        Businesses report that trade is up, with more money ringing in their tills.

As a local ward councillor and the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Michalowski thanked both past and current Members and officers of this Council, as well as the local community for their continued support in bringing this project forward and making a real difference to the lives of residents and businesses.

The Leader emphasised the huge difference the development had made to the Redhill area. It had increased the night-time economy, with The Light bringing more than just a cinema  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50


Meeting: 07/12/2023 - Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 52)

52 Marketfield Way Update - December 2023 (Part Exempt)

To receive an update report on the progress of the Marketfield Way project.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Michalowski, Portfolio Holder for Place, Planning and Regulatory Services, gave an update on Marketfield Way as set out in the report.

The report provided an update on progress to deliver the Marketfield Way project since it was last considered by Executive in December 2019.

Acting as developer over the last four years, the Council has overcome numerous challenges to bring this project forward to get to this stage. The most significant challenge had been the huge uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. The Council made a conscious and deliberate decision to press ahead with entering into a building contract shortly after the pandemic hit and, when there was huge global uncertainty. The pandemic resulted in the Council not being able to secure early pre-lets on any of the commercial space; the cinema operator was lost, and complex logistical challenges were faced to ensure safe working on site. While a fixed rate contract was in place, when changes were made, this resulted in cost increases due to high build cost inflation not only because of pandemic but also the Ukraine crisis.

Complex engineering challenges were also faced, including the relocation of a power sub-station, statutory services, and the build over of a large public sewer.

These factors ultimately resulted in delay and consequential cost increases for the project. The pandemic and the cost of living crisis have resulted in much more uncertainty for prospective tenants and has brought about less rental income than originally forecast.

Despite these challenges, this Council has now completed the main build. The residential part has been sold to the Council’s private sector partner; over 70% of the commercial floorspace has been let, and letting agreements are currently being secured on the remaining three units.

The new development, The Rise is now well and truly open for business, welcoming thousands of people every day. The Rise is already home to over 100 people who benefit from living in the heart of Redhill with its excellent transport links. The palatable difference this Council's commitment to the project our investments is making to the regeneration of Redhill in line with the Council’s corporate objectives is now being realised.

The Rise has become a true leisure destination alongside the Harlequin with a forecast of 400,000 visitors to The Light this year. Residents’ views are that they love the new leisure facilities. Footfall in town is substantially increased, bucking national trends. More people are visiting the town from a wider catchment. More people are staying longer, and businesses report that trade is up.

The Portfolio Holder thanked both past and current Members and officers of the Council, as well as the local community, for their continued support in bringing this project forward. He stated that this project is a clear example of how, through intervention, the public sector can deliver a true place-making project that makes a great difference to the lives of local residents and businesses.

Several advance questions on the Marketfield Way Update – December 2023 had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52